Published on: Jan. 19, 2024
Georgia Legislative Session Kicks Off at the Capitol, Setting the Stage for Key Policy Debates and Decision-Making

The Georgia General Assembly convened on January 8 for the start of the 2024 legislative session, the Georgia Chamber hosted their annual Eggs & Issues at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and Governor Kemp gave his State of the State address.

As the General Assembly met for the first week, they negotiated the annual Adjournment Resolution that lays out the 40-day legislative schedule for the House and Senate. This year, the House and Senate will meet every Monday through Thursday (with a few exceptions) and have Fridays free to travel back to their districts. Crossover day (the last day of the session that a piece of legislation must be passed out of the body in which it was introduced to be considered by the other legislative body) is scheduled for February 29. The end of the legislative session (Sine Die) is scheduled for March 28. To view the entire schedule listed in House Resolution 779, click here.

Once again, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Pooler Chamber of Commerce joined together and purchased two tables at this year’s Georgia Chamber’s annual Eggs & Issues Legislative Breakfast. At the event, we had numerous State and local elected officials join several local business leaders at our joint chamber tables to hear from the Georgia Chamber concerning their 2024 legislative priorities. To see the Georgia Chamber’s 2024 legislative priorities, click here.

We also heard from House Speaker Jon Burns, Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, and Governor Brian Kemp as they discussed several key legislative priorities for this legislative session. Those issues include reducing crime and gang activity, improving the State’s healthcare system, continuing support of our law enforcement, increasing funding for the State’s infrastructure, and increasing funding for the State’s workforce housing fund, among others. Georgia Trend posted an event recap of the Georgia Chamber Eggs & Issues; click here to view their recap.

On Thursday, January 11, Georgia Brian Kemp delivered his annual State of the State address, where he laid out his specific priorities for 2024 and released his 2024 amended budget proposals along with his 2025 fiscal year budget proposals. To view those, click here.

Some of his proposals include:
• $45,000 for every public school to improve security.
• 4% pay raise for state employees and $2,500 for teachers.
• Increased funding for public school’s student transportation programs.
• An additional $1.5 billion investment in the Georgia Department of Transportation to maintain our roadways and accelerate construction on “shovel-ready” projects.
• $250 million in additional funds for economic development grants provided through the Regional Economic Business Assistance.
• $16 million to assist local governments with economic site development.
• An additional $50 million is for workforce housing initiatives.
The Governor’s budget proposals included several items of interest to the Savannah Chatham County area, including:
• $5 million for the renovation of the Parker Business School at Georgia Southern.
• $5 million for Goodwill’s Workforce EXCELerator pilot program.
• $178 million for designing and constructing a new dental School at Georgia Southern, Armstrong campus.
• Funding to expand the Gang Prosecution Unit in Savannah.

Last week, the Georgia General Assembly was busy with its annual budget hearings; they will be back in session this week.

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